This is one of the reasons why crawlspace related water
damage requires the services of a trained water restoration
professional, someone who is familiar and experienced
with the situation as it exists in the crawlspace, as
well as how to work effectively in such a confined,
Crawlspaces almost always have dirt flooring, which
means that moisture from the ground may have easy access
to the structure unless a vapor barrier is properly
installed. If the vapor barrier is not installed correctly,
wall to wall, with no tears or other damage to the material,
it is just as good as not having one there at all. Again,
professional installation is required to make sure the
vapor barrier is properly installed and working correctly
to eliminate moisture problems.
In the event of water damage to your crawlspace,
safety is of the utmost concern. Remember that most
crawlspaces are used for the running of piping, HVAC,
and electrical wiring. If these materials are not properly
insulated, the crawlspace may become a very hazardous
area. Your restoration professionals can make the determination
regarding if and when a crawlspace may be safely entered.
When entering the crawlspace, proper safety clothing
and equipment should be worn. This includes long
sleeves, pants, heavy duty gloves and boots, as well
as eye protection and a respirator.
Respirators are absolute musts when dealing with any
scenario where mold might be a factor. Remember that
crawlspaces may also be a refuge for small rodents or
snakes, so caution should be taken when poking around
in dark corners or small openings.
If the insulation has gotten wet, it will need to be
removed and eventually replaced. If the vapor barrier
has been damaged it will need replacing as well (since
a damaged barrier is the same as having no barrier at
all). If there is any trace of standing water in the
area, it will need to be removed through professional
water extraction techniques.